A Temple Mount Tragedy

7 Nov western_wall_jerusalem_shavuot

By Dr. Steven Derfler

One of the major points of contention between Israel and the Arab/Moslem World is over the most sacred piece of real estate on the planet. At 37 acres, the Temple Mount is the focal point of prayer and contention for the three western religious traditions- Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While Christianity has Rome, Constantinople and Jerusalem vying for spiritual ‘seniority’, and Islam has Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, Judaism has Jerusalem, and Jerusalem, and Jerusalem.

However, traditionally, the role of the holy city, and in particular the Temple Mount, has been widely, if not grudgingly, recognized in importance by each of these traditions to the other.

It has only been in the last century, a result of ‘a Twice Promised Land’ coming out of World War One (ok, blame it on the British!) that we find disinformation and the re-writing of history taking place. But the greatest activity has taken place in the 21st Century.

The Waqf, the Islamic religious authority that was granted control of the Temple Mount by Israel decades ago, decided to ‘remodel’ a series of stables beneath the Mount, create a mosque, and then an internal entry from just north of the Al Aqsa plaza. In doing so, tons of debris, filled with archaeological treasures pertaining to the history of the Temple Mt, were unceremoniously dumped with no regard for context into the Kidron Valley; all in spite of Israeli law that forbade such activity unless overseen by the Israeli Antiquities Authority.

To make matters worse, many stones, some dating to the Tenth Century BCE, were re-used and modified for their building activity.

Archaeologist Eilat Mazar said: “There is disappointment at the turning of a blind eye and the ongoing contempt for the tremendous archaeological importance of the Temple Mount . Using heavy machinery and with little documentation, can damage ancient relics and erase evidence of the presence of the biblical structures. Any excavation, even if for technical reasons, must be documented, photographed and the dirt sifted for any remains of relics.”  Dr. Gabi Barkai slammed the way the excavations were being carried out stating that “They should be using a toothbrush, not a bulldozer”.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, rejected the Israeli charges. “We don’t harm the antiquities, we are the ones who are taking care of the antiquities, unlike others who destroy them.” Yusuf Natsheh of the Islamic Waqf argued that “remains unearthed would be from the 16th or 17th century Ottoman period”. He said al-Aqsa compound as an important religious institution. “We regret some Israeli groups try to use archaeology to achieve political ends, but their rules of archaeology do not apply to the Haram; it is a living religious site in an occupied land.”

In 2004, debris was transferred to camps set up at Tzurim Valley National Park, overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Here a sifting project was begun; and over the years the Temple Mount debris dump in the Kidron Valley was moved to the sifting site (a total of 322 truckloads, to date).

Objects testifying to the Jewish nature of the Temple Mount platform were dismissed by the Waqf. The Waqf was widely accused of attempting to hide evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temples, which many Palestinian leaders say never existed. That debate continued to rage. “The Aqsa Mosque was an Islamic mosque since the world was created,” said Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, in November, 2015. “It was never anything other than a mosque.

However, this flew in the face of what Islamic leaders said themselves about the Temple Mount earlier in the 20th Century.

But prior to 1948, even their own 1925 Wakf guidebook stated that the Dome of the Rock is situated on the universally accepted site of King Solomon’s Temple. “The site is one of the oldest in the world… its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”

Abbas himself called Israeli history in Jerusalem “illusions and legends” and “delusional myths,” referring to the “alleged Temple.”

The destructive partisan biases in UNESCO were clearly evidenced in the fall of 2016, as it would vote to ratify a resolution denying Jewish ties to Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount. An affront to science and history, the resolution, which refers to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of Al-Haram Al-Sharif – ostensibly eliminating its connection to Judaism and Christianity – was expected to be approved by the committee comprised of 21 member states at its 40th session.

As UNESCO approved a resolution that ignored a Jewish connection to The Temple Mount, the Israel Antiquities Authority produced a rare papyrus fragment from the 7th century BCE, written in ancient Hebrew; that mentions Jerusalem. Archaeologists interpreted 2 lines of text as a shipping document reading, “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.”

And even more importantly Israeli archaeologists revealed the existence of an ancient Muslim inscription testifying to the fact that the original name of the Dome of the Rock, Qubbat al-Sakhrah, was “Beit al Maqdis” بيت المقدس — “Beit Hamikdash” in Hebrew, aka the Jewish Temple — during the early Muslim era, Makor Rishon reported Friday. According to archaeologists Assaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven, the inscription is dated to the 10th century CE.

It’s time for the western world, Jews, Christians and Moslems of good faith, to recognize the sanctity and legitimacy of the Temple Mount for all religious traditions, and accept the archaeological, historical and spiritual record with dignity and respect.

 

 

Honor Shimon Peres; Buy Israeli

28 Sep 14441153_10155239980063572_4096406518751730687_n

14441153_10155239980063572_4096406518751730687_nShimon Peres grew up with Israel. He moved to the British Mandate of Palestine in the early 1930’s and has been a change maker in the modern Jewish country since it was born.

On Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 we lost a true Zionist and a true peace activist for the Jewish people and the people of Israel.

In his last video message before his death, he urged everyone to buy Israeli goods. Visit one of our older blogs to see HOW and WHERE to buy Israeli

Shimon Peres’ last video statement

May his memory be for a blessing. z”l

 

 

My Breakfast with the Gefilteria Gang (Repost from The Forward)

17 Aug

The following was originally published by The Forward on August 16, 2016.  One of the subjects of the article, Jeffrey Yoskowitz, is the son of Sarasota resident Dr. Arnold Yoskowitz.  Here is the link to the original article.

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By Leah Koenig

w-alpern-yoskowitz-1471293480Last week, I had breakfast with Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern (pictured above: photo credit Lauren Volo) — co-founders of the boutique Jewish food company, Gefilteria, and authors of the forthcoming cookbook “The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods”.

We gathered for bagels at Hudson Eats, an upscale food court on the southern tip of Manhattan that has become a mothership of artisanal foods, including a kiosk of the wood fired bagel shop, Black Seed Bagels. Inside a glass-filled atrium with Gucci and Burberry shops looming nearby, our surroundings felt oddly opulent. But the bagels were still warm, and the wide tables overlooking the glinting river outside were great for catching up with some old friends.

For the near-decade that I have known, dined with and occasionally collaborated with Jeff and Liz, they have always felt like kindred spirits. Like me, they are people who got into the world of Jewish food not because it was trendy, but because it felt like an authentic expression of who they are, and because they sensed they might have something to add to the conversation.

Starting from scratch, they wrote a manifesto about the importance of reclaiming Jewish cuisine’s time-honored foods and launched their business with a high-quality take on Ashkenazi cuisine’s most infamous appetizer, gefilte fish. Their version is a far-cry from the soulless jarred stuff that most people associate with gefilte fish. It is made in small batches, uses sustainable fish, and is truly delicious, even without a dollop of horseradish.

In the days before Passover in 2012 — their first holiday in business as gefilte fish makers — they spent hours in a cramped synagogue kitchen in New York’s East Village grinding hundreds of pounds of fish while a young Yiddish singer (another friend of mine, Benjy Fox-Rosen), played a CD-release concert in the social hall outside. Quite an auspicious way to start a Jewish food business, no?

“Everything we did for the first three years of our company was new to us. We just had to jump in and learn on the job,” Yoskowitz said. As someone who has made a career as a food writer without formal culinary training or a degree in journalism, I know the feeling. “Luckily, people took the leap of faith with us,” Alpern said. “And soon, we became the gefilte people.”

Early on, they toyed with what it might mean to scale up their artisanal gefilte fish to compete with the big boys of Jewish food production like Manischewitz or Rokeach. But they quickly realized that was not the path they wanted. “The bigger you get, the more divorced you become from the food you’re producing,” Alpern said. “We couldn’t imagine sitting in some board room making decisions far away from the actual food.”

“What we really wanted was to put our recipes directly in people’s hands and give them the confidence to make this food,” Yoskowitz said. So they doubled doubled down on the educational portion of their mission. While continuing to offer their gefilte fish seasonally (around Passover and Rosh Hashanah), they began to travel around the country to teach cooking classes and host pop up events and dinners — including the Passover seder at the James Beard Foundation — that showcase Ashkenazi food at its best.

Their book, out in mid-September, is another major step in that direction. The collection of recipes aims to, as Yoskowitz put it, “recover the flavors of Ashkenazi cooking that got lost as Jews moved from Eastern Europe to America, or even from the Lower East Side to the suburbs and beyond.” So there’s a chapter on soups and dumplings and another on the many varieties of pickles that once brightened up the Ashkenazi table in the dead of winter. There are recipes for creamy noodle kugels with spiced plums, home-cured pastrami and updated classics like kimchi-stuffed cabbage. One of my favorite recipes is a homemade butter flavored with everything-bagel spice — a perfect breakfast spread to pair with a slice of Jewish rye or a bialy (both recipes that can be found in the book.)

Another delightful case in point is the cookbook’s recipe for Roast goose with apples and onions. In the old country, geese were prized within the Jewish household for their ribbons of fat (great for rendering into schmaltz), their feathers for down pillows, and, of course, their meat for roasting. “In the early 20th century, you could find Jews trying to raise geese on the Lower East Side,” Yoskowitz said. Of course, the practice of raising backyard poultry didn’t stick in Manhattan, and geese were replaced by the more industrial-friendly chicken. “The Gefilte Manifesto’s” recipe, then, helps capture a food that once delighted our ancestors, and brings it to the contemporary table.

For those cooks who might be intimidated by the thought of roasting a whole goose or making homemade pickled beets, fret not. Many of the dishes in “The Gefilte Manifesto” fall into the quick-and-easy category. And for those that are more of a project, Yoskowitz and Alpern offer substitutions and workarounds. “We provide shortcuts that don’t dilute the quality or spirit of the dishes,” Yoskowitz said. In other words, you won’t find wonton wrappers subbing in for dough in their kreplach. But if you don’t have a batch of homemade lacto-fermented pickles on hand to make their pickle brine bread, they suggest subbing in the liquid from a store-bought jar.

Talking with my friends over breakfast, I couldn’t help but kvell for them. Their gefilte fish, their events and now their cookbook are changing the conversation of what it means to make and connect with Ashkenazi Jewish food.

Casting Call for a new Steven Spielberg film

29 Jun

clapper-board-152088ROLE “EDGARDO” — BOY age 6-9 to play 6 years old. This is a unique and very challenging part for a truly special boy. The story deals with the complexity of an extremely intelligent and gifted child’s situation – his desire to return to his family and the faith of his ancestors, pitted against his ability to learn the Catechism and engage with the Pope on a level far beyond his years. HE SHOULD APPEAR TO BE A JEWISH ITALIAN child. We are not looking for any kind of Italian accent. LEAD.

STORY LINE “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara”— Steven Spielberg is making a film about the true story of EDGARDO MORTARA – a 6 year old Jewish boy from Bologna who was reported to have been secretly baptized by a maid, and was deemed by the Catholic church therefore to be Christian. Pope Pius IX (to be played by Mark Rylance) decreed that the boy could not remain with his Jewish family. He was seized by the Papal State and taken to the Vatican where his indoctrination into Catholicism began. This was a cause célèbre of mid-nineteenth century European politics and the domestic and international outrage against the pontifical state’s actions may have contributed to its downfall amid the unification of Italy. This is an incredible story of real historical relevance.

To submit: Email delisicreative@gmail.comSubject line: EDGARDO SUBMISSION / Name of boy, city/state. Body of email: Parents/Guardians contact info (names/phone), boys name/age/d.o.b, city/state of residence, along w/current non retouched photos. If you’d like to include a brief introduction, bio or resume, please do! Please note any related, special, or fun facts so we get to know him!

 

Interfaith Missions to Israel

22 Jun 12828394_928578320590978_6654802365235987995_o

For the past 4 years, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has invested in relationships with the Christian community through community programming and interfaith missions to Israel. This year, we had the opportunity to travel to Israel with another Federation community from the Heart of New Jersey. This unique trip consisted of clergy and leadership from Jewish, Presbyterian, Reform Church, Baptists and Episcopal communities. To read about this trip, click on this article

Below are quotes from two local leaders who traveled to Israel with the Jewish Federation on the mission highlighted in the article:

“Beyond the blessing of biblical locations and narratives coming alive in sight and context, the interfaith trip was a marvelous opportunity to explore deeper conversations and questions (even tough ones) about Judaism and Christianity’s heritage.  The trip also opened my eyes to the greater reality of everyday life in Israel – what it is and isn’t.  How refreshing to see and hear stories of hope and understanding – appreciating the effort to recognize and respect our common human dignity, regardless of background, and the desire we all have to make a better life for future generations.  I learned a lot and am forever grateful for such an educational and inspirational trip.”     – Rev. Michael Todd, Church of the Holy Spirit, Osprey, Florida

 

 

“Israel faces many complex challenges. So often in American mainstream media and around the world, Israel is painted in a negative light, despite the fact that they are daily confronted by an enemy that seeks to destroy their existence. Traveling there and getting to see and hear first-hand about these challenges and the strides Israel is trying to make, was such an affirmation of this bias in media. Truth matters – whether that’s here in America or there in Israel. We need to see both sides of the story and understand that what Israel is facing is complicated. One of the purposes of this trip was for us to see for ourselves what is taking place, to dispel the misconceptions we so often see.  I believe the trip accomplished this.” – Dixie Cline, Director of Development, CareNet Manasota, Bradenton, Florida

14 Jun

#PrayForOrlando smaller Jun2015

THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF SARASOTA-MANATEE IS OUTRAGED AND SADDENED BY THE TRAGIC AND HORRIFIC MASS SHOOTING IN ORLANDO

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is outraged and saddened by the tragic and horrific mass shooting this weekend at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This act of terror and hate, inspired by radical Islamic views, has left 49 people confirmed killed and at least 53 more severely injured. We were dismayed to learn of this horrifying attack on the LGBTQ community while Jews around the world were celebrating the holiday of Shavuot, which commemorates the anniversary of the day G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

A key tenet of the Torah is that humankind was created in G-d’s image, and therefore we must treat one another with compassion and respect. The Jewish Federation strongly condemns those who target a particular community. We will not stand idly by and let terrorists and those who espouse hatred win.  Instead we as the Sarasota-Manatee Jewish community pledge our devotion and loyalty to all communities who are subject to hatred and discrimination. We will work together to fight back and stand in solidarity together.

The rising tide of extremism and violence, around the world and here in the United States, is profoundly disturbing and reiterates the threat of terrorism to the entire free world. We mourn for those murdered, offer our condolences to their families and pray for a swift recovery of the injured. All Americans were attacked, but the LGBT community was targeted.

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ and entire Orlando community.

Howard Tevlowitz
Executive Director

#BUYcottIsrael

17 May

If you understand that Boycotting, Divesting from or Sanctioning Israel (otherwise known as the BDS movement) in fact does nothing to enable a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, then you may roll your eyes every time you see a call to “Boycott products made in Israel”.  Let’s take it one step further and participate in a BUYcott campaign!

Below are stores in the local area where you can find Israeli products. If you know of a store that is not listed, please let us know.  When you’re out buying Israeli made products, snap a photo of yourself, post it to our Facebook pagebuycott_Jessi_publixArrows

Bed Bath and Beyond

The Walking Company

Taste of Europe

Publix

CostCo

BJ’s Wholesale

Ace Hardware

Lowe’s

Home Depot

Sam’s Club

Target

Walmart

And below is an extensive list of companies that support Israel in some way or another, with the brands they own. This list alone is a WIN for beauty and fashion connoisseurs.

Estée Lauder: Chairman Ronald Lauder is the current president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), which owns approximately 13% of land in the state of Israel.

Estée Lauder brands:

  • Aveda
  • Coach cosmetics
  • Smashbox
  • Tom Ford
  • Aramis
  • Bumble and Bumble
  • Aerin
  • American Beauty
  • Clinique
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Darphin
  • Donna Karan
  • Ermenegildo Zegna
  • Flirt!
  • Goodskin Labs
  • Grassroots Research Labs
  • Jo Malone
  • Kiton
  • La Mer
  • Lab series skincare for men
  • MAC
  • Michael Kors
  • OJON
  • Origins
  • OSIAO
  • Prescriptives
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Tory Burch

Ahava

Revlon: Revlon’s largest stakeholder, Ronald Perelman, is a major trustee of the Simon Weisenthal foundation, Revlon also owns Almay.

L’Oreal:  L’Oreal Israel also manufacturers a line of products using Dead Sea minerals under the name “Natural Sea Beauty” that is exported to 22 countries.

L’Oreal brands:

  • Lancome
  • Giorgio Armani Beauty
  • Yves Saint Laurent Beauté
  • Biotherm
  • Kiehl’s
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Shu Uemura
  • Cacharel
  • Helena Rubinstein
  • Clarisonic
  • Diesel
  • Viktor & Rolf
  • Yue Sai
  • Maison Martin Margiela
  • Urban Decay
  • Guy Laroche
  • Paloma Picasso
  • Vichy
  • La Roche-Posay
  • SkinCeuticals
  • Inneov
  • Rogers&Gallet
  • Sanoflore
  • L’Oreal Paris
  • Garnier
  • Maybelline New York
  • Carson
  • Essie
  • The Body Shop
  • L’Oreal Professionnel
  • Kérastase
  • Redken
  • Matrix
  • Pureology
  • Shu Uemura Art of Hair
  • Mizani
  • NYX (recent acquisition)

Procter & Gamble 

Procter & Gamble brands include:

  • Always
  • Tampax
  • Luvs
  • Pampers
  • Bounty
  • Naturella
  • Tempo
  • Charmin
  • Whisper
  • Dodot
  • Puffs
  • Crest
  • Gillette
  • Oral-B
  • Scope
  • Vicks
  • Venus
  • Clearblue
  • Fusion
  • Braun
  • CoverGirl
  • Herbal Essences
  • Max Factor
  • Nice ‘n Easy
  • Pantene
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Ivory
  • Aussie
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Old Spice
  • Secret
  • Olay
  • Clairol Professional
  • Cheer
  • Bounce
  • Daz
  • Era
  • Gain
  • Clean
  • Comet
  • Downy
  • Fab
  • Gala
  • Proper
  • Ariel
  • Cascade
  • Dash
  • Dawn
  • Dreft Laundry
  • Fairy
  • Joy
  • Myth
  • Swiffer
  • Febreeze
  • Duracell

Johnson & Johnson: In 1998 Israel bestowed a Jubilee Award to Johnson & Johnson. Awarded personally by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Israel’s 50th anniversary, the Jubilee Awards were given to select individuals and companies who, through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the Israeli economy.

Johnson & Johnson brands:

  • Johnson’s baby products
  • Aveeno
  • Lubriderm
  • Aveeno
  • Neutrogena
  • Vendome
  • Clean & Clear
  • Roc
  • Bebe
  • Band-Aid
  • Bengay
  • Neosporin
  • Cortaid
  • Listerine
  • Rembrandt
  • Tylenol
  • Sudafed
  • Pepcid
  • Nicorette
  • Motrin
  • Immodium
  • Dolormin
  • Benadryl
  • Mylanta
  • Zyrtec
  • Splenda
  • Benecol
  • Lactaid
  • Visine
  • Acuvue contact lenses

Kimberly-Clark:They also received a Jubilee Award in 1998.

Kimberly-Clark brands:

  • Kotex
  • Depends
  • Poise
  • Kleenex
  • Scott
  • Viva
  • Cottonelle
  • Wondersoft
  • Thick & Thirsty
  • Huggies
  • Pull-Ups
  • GoodNites, Little Swimmers, Snugglers, etc

 

 

Moroccanoil hair products: made in Israel

Lavan body products: made in Israel

Albaad Rostam tampons: Albaad Rostam products are made in Israel. The company manufactures private label tampons for major companies in the US.

Generic tampon brands by Albaad Rostam:

  • Target (Up&Up)
  • Wal Mart (Equate)
  • Kroger (Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’s, King Soopers, Fry’s, QFC, City Market, Owen’s, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker’s, Gerbes, Scott’s Food & Pharmacy, Harris Teeter)
  • Walgreens
  • Rite Aid
  • CVS

Delta Galil industries: Israeli textile companies

Clothing brands using Delta Galil fabric:

  • Nike
  • Calvin Klein
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Columbia
  • Lacoste
  • Walmart
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Triumph
  • United Colors of Benetton
  • Hugo Boss
  • Kenneth Cole
  • Target
  • Avia
  • Converse
  • Penguin
  • Lulu Lemon
  • MLB
  • JC Penney
  • Pierre Cardin
  • HEMA
  • Wilson
  • Marks and Spencer
  • BHS
  • UnderArmor
  • Maidenform
  • Sam’s Club
  • Spanx
  • Wacoal
  • Etam
  • 1,000 Mile
  • Wolf Lingerie
  • Dillard’s
  • Umbro
  • Saucony
  • SweatyBetty
  • Lane Bryant
  • Joop!
  • Marc O’Polo
  • Matalan
  • Sears
  • Primark
  • Hunkemoller

So get beautiful, diaper your child, wear your Friday best and BUYcott Israel!